Book Tour 2014 Recap in Pictures

I am back from book tour and it was a big success. I don’t have the final numbers yet but this appears to be by far the most successful release I’ve had yet. MHN hit #1 on all of Audible, #1 fantasy ebook on Amazon, and most importantly Nielsen Bookscan is the most accurate measurement of all books sold available and I had the #2 bestselling fantasy hard cover in the country. I owe all that to my awesome fans, and the best part of book tour is getting to see them in person.

I started out in Minneapolis and signed at Uncle Hugos. As most of you know this is the book store that gave me my big break. I love going there. Because that is the place where I steer people to for personalized autographs I usually have to do a two part signing, where I go early to personalize all the mail orders. Because you guys know I’ll write pretty much anything and even draw cartoons, there were a ton of those this year. So day one, my hand was shot. Enjoy your doodles of manatees and moose. 🙂

Tour autographed copies

 

The next night was the signing at Hugos.  It was standing room only and we packed the place. I was told that the only signings they’ve had with more people were Lois Bujold and Anne McCaffery, either of whom I’m happy to lose to. I got to meet a few people that I’ve known online for a long time in person, including Von Krag (who plugged me to Uncle Hugos to begin with) and Old NFO (who flew up from Virginia!)

My Minnesota fans are pretty damned hard core too.

tour hard core

Because of the tight timeline I was only able to spend one day at ConVergence, but I was able to visit with a bunch of people and do another signing and meet and greet. I wish I had more time there because it seemed like a really fun convention.

But duty calls and I had to catch a flight early the next morning. Sadly I wasn’t on a party floor, but the room next to me decided to throw a party anyway. No problem, head phones in, Luther soundtrack, and go to sleep, but by 3:00 AM they’d gotten progressively drunker and had one woman that laughed like a really loud barking hyena, so I went over, pounded on their door and pretended to be hotel security. That shut them right up. Yes, everybody else on that floor of the hotel, you are welcome. 🙂

Up next was Westercon. Sadly Delta Airlines lost my luggage so I was later than expected (this would be the first of many delays this trip!). I’m not really a Clothes Guy. Basically I go shopping once a year before book tour. Since I had 3 weeks worth of clothing in that bag I came to the sad realization as I was standing there that if that bag was gone “I don’t own any other clothes.”  Luckily my bag turned up eventually, otherwise that would have gotten real interesting and I would have had to make an emergency run to the Extra Large Casual Male (best store name ever).

Tour Lanyards

They had a surprise for me there too. Baen sponsored the lanyards and badges, so everybody got MHN themed lanyards.

(side note, this was particularly funny because it turns out some SMOFs on the committee threw a fit about me being a guest, because they’d bought into the nonsense narrative about me being a Hatey HateMonger. Luckily a bunch of others know the truth about me and told them to shove it)

This was really two cons in one, as the writerly WesterCon was next door to FantasyCon which was more of a media/movie/fan con. I swung by FantasyCon for a bit to visit my friends over at WordFire Press.

Tour Westercon

WesterCon was a blast. I got to hang out with many of my writer friends. I signed next to Paul Genesse and Dan Wells, and just to my other side in this pic was Brandon Sanderson (whose line filled the room). As Dan pointed out, no matter how well you are doing as an author, it is hard to feel successful when you compare yourself to Brandon. 🙂

Paul was all jazzed up during this because he’d just gotten done interviewing Sean Astin, John Rhys Davies, and the guy who played Gloin (drawing a blank on that actor’s name), and Paul is the biggest Tolkien nut you’ll meet. He even got Gimli and Gloin to improv out the scene where young Gimli isn’t allowed to go on the adventure from the Hobbit, and the two actors totally ran with it in character. I’m betting that’s all over YouTube by now.

This next picture is of me and author David West, and has to be included because he hadn’t gotten his badge yet but had just successfully impersonated me to bluff his way into FantasyCon. Bald with a goatee yes, but I’m guessing that wasn’t the most observant security guard ever.

Tour West

Seattle was up next.

Normally when I fly into an area I’ll have a signing or two scheduled, and then I spend the rest of the time driving from one bookstore to another, meeting staff and signing store stock. I only did a little bit of that while I was in Seattle because I got to go over to my favorite mini gaming company, Privateer Press, to take a tour.

And before my fellow Warmachine nerds ask, nope, can’t tell you anything cool, because I signed an NDA. But man, they’ve got some cool stuff in the works. I ate lunch with Will, Darla, Doug, and Aeryn, then we brainstormed my next project I’m writing for them. (I listened to the audiobook of Into the Storm on my next couple of flights so I could ponder on those characters again, and it reminded me that if you’ve not listened to Into the Storm, you are missing out because it is friggin’ awesome and Ray Porter narrates the main character like he’s Frank Sinatra).

 

I had a good sized crowd at University Bookstore.

Tour Seattle

I had a great bunch of fans at the University Bookstore, including several guys from WeTheArmed.com.  It is always good to put actual faces to internet screen names.

Tour Seattle 2

These young men went for the Earl Harbinger look. These two are hard core and have practically memorized MHI:

Tour young fans

Up next was Portland, but first you have to understand that I don’t fly well. I’m a big dude who doesn’t fit in airline seats, and take offs, landings, and turbulence make me a little nauseous. I’m not afraid of flying, but it is a terribly uncomfortable experience for me and I take no pleasure in it, but it is part of the job so I suck it up and fly a lot anyway.  But then I saw that I was going to be flying on this:

Tour Death Trap

Lovely.

Then I sat down a couple feet from this:

Tour propeller

I sent a text to Corinda, Baen’s Marketing Wizard and Tour Arranger, including these pictures and said “If I go all Buddy Holly promise to sell lots of books for my kids.”

But then the weather was wonderful, we never climbed that high so the views were great, and it was one of the smoothest and most pleasant flights I’ve had in my entire life. Way to go, Mr. Negative.

Tour Mt Saint Helens

I was only in Portland for one day so I didn’t hit that many book stores, but the most important thing in Portland is the Danner Boot Factory Outlet. You’ve got to understand that us size 15 guys don’t actually get to try on shoes before we buy them like a normal person. $300 later I was back on the road.

Up next was Powell’s in Beaverton. It was another big signing and a wonderful bunch of people. We closed the place down and I still had a line.

tour Beaverton

If you go on Facebook there are tons of pictures of me posing with fans.  As usual they’re old to young, male and female, all sorts of ethnic and social backgrounds, and the SJW’s mandatory “Diversity Panels” look like a Klan rally in comparison.  I know that doesn’t fit the narrative about me and my fans, but maybe the Guardian is just smoking crack when they allege that I’m trying to keep sci-fi white and male?

San Francisco was my next stop.

Tour San Fran

I signed at Dark Carnival in Berkley, and the Copperfields in San Rafael and Santa Rosa. These signings were smaller than the packed ones of the last week, but by this point of the tour I was getting a little incoherent so that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. That’s the thing about book signings, one day you’ll pack a place, the next day you’ll hang out with a handful of people. You just never know what your fan base is like  in any given area until you go there.

One good thing about visiting California is that it reinforces how moving away twenty years ago was a good thing for me. How can you people stand sitting in traffic like that? Holy moly. I’m a country boy at heart. Crowds mess with my calm. And I’ve still got to go to New York City this year.

Then it was off to North Carolina for ConGregate. I flew through ATL (where on time flights go to die), and my one hour layover turned into a 3 hour layover, with another hour sitting on the runway, so by the time I got in I’d missed a panel and the opening ceremonies, but at least my luggage actually made it this time so I was wearing pants.

Toni Weisskopf saw me stumble into the hotel that night and bought me a steak. I love my publisher.

This was the first year they’ve done ConGregate, so I was honored to be their writing GoH. They put on a great con.

Tour Lots of Books

That is a whole lot of books to sign, and that pile is only part of what I signed there. That stack was for a book seller to take to DragonCon. I didn’t get a picture of the line I had at my signing there, but it was a great turn out. I can’t imagine how many books *real* writers have to sign!

Tour Patch 2

ConGregate was awesome. I went to StellerCon in the same area several years ago when I was first starting out and met a lot of the locals. It was good to see them again. Plus with my publisher and many of the Baen staff there too, they’re always fun to hang out with. Cons are the only time that I ever see the Baen folks and I really love working with them.

Sunday afternoon Steve Long ran an MHI RPG game. The seats had been auctioned off in the charity auction and I’m pretty sure we were the biggest thing on there. Next time we’ll stick them on eBay a week before and I think we could get even more money for charity. (plus I told Steve that next time I’ll GM for him so he can actually play). The game went great, with us being a bunch of gun toting, hot tempered, quick on the trigger, murder hobos, so it was very MHI appropriate.

Monday morning I got to take a tour of Speaker to Lab Animals’ laboratory. Everybody in fandom knows Speaker, and in real life he is a leading neuro scientist. We write about sci-fi, and he actually does it for a living. All I can say about his work is that it was mind blowing.

I got home late Monday night, brain dead, exhausted, and really happy to see my wife and kids.

Thanks everybody. You were fantastic.

 

 

37 Responses

  1. Great recap, Larry! Congrats on your awesome book tour!

  2. World class example of why looks aren’t everything…

  3. Larry,

    As I recall, Buddy Holly wasn’t taken out alone.

    So all you need to do is figure out who the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens might be, and, this is important, never flying with them.

    Glad to hear your trip was safe and successful.

  4. You are one of the few people who could use the phrase “murder hobo” without annoying me; from you, it’s not condescending.

  5. “Murder hobo,” I like that one. When my players ask why the guard/cops are hassling their PC’s, I explain that their manual defines “adventurer” as “heavily armed and unemployed.”

  6. “I’m not really a Clothes guy.”

    Is that so? I didn’t know Yard Moose Mountain was the name of a naturist colony.

  7. My MHI patch made the blog!

  8. I keep wondering why very few authors make a book trip to Albuquerque. Then I look around, and think, “Oh. That’s why.”

    But we do have Sandia National Labs, Los Alamos is just an hour north, Intel has a major fabrication plant, and Roswell is just a few hours down the road. (Ooh, what’s the PUFF on UFO aliens?)

    Thanks for the update. Now, please get back to writing!!!

  9. We took that flight from Portand to Seattle and I bumped my head on the plane and could barely fit in the seat, was wondering how you made it? Also we has chop and turbulence, longest 40 mins I’d seen in a while

  10. Awesome. The David West story was particularly funny.

    Hoping to make it to your Omaha signing. Hopefully I’ll also have a job by then, so I can afford “Nemesis” in hardcover for you to sign it…

  11. Stunning conclusion: people like to have fun. We love this tradition; from Universal horror films to Unknown, to Uncle Einar to the Addams Family and The Munsters to Creepy and Eerie and X-Files to The Mummy. It’s nothing but fun and that’s how it should be and that’s where it sits. Fun-killers stay away; neither you or your pie-charts are needed nor wanted.

  12. My best bud was at ConGregate as a guest for podcasting. I really hope he got my ragged copy of the Monster Hunters omnibus signed.

  13. Copperfield’s in San Rafael:
    I have the two pics that were in my phone. They came out kinda funny; one has your head chopped on the side and the other one my eyes are closed. If you want them, I can send.
    To let the others know how it went… It was just marvelous to have you all to ourselves. The group may have been small, but each one of us appreciated you answering all those questions, getting an indication of the future of MHI and telling us lots of fabulous stories Thanks!

  14. Wish I could have made it to another signing Larry.
    Make sure you get the word out next time you hit the southeast.

    Luckily, Old NFO hooked me up with a copy from the Uncle Hugo’s event.
    Keep up the good work. Looks to me like you’ve been pi**ing off all the right people…

  15. I didn’t know they still used planes with propellers like that. Cool.

    Also Don’t know how you can sign so many books and the like, how do your hands hold up to that?

    • Regional and Commuter airlines do. Made by Embraer, Bombardier, Fokker, and a few others. Basically for any route too short and too thinly traveled to justify a 737.

      Heck, in Seattle, there’s an airline centered around flying seaplanes, typically DeHavilland Beavers on floats.

  16. For some reason the picture of you signing books made me think of a little school boy being punished for some misdeed by writing “I will not…” over and over again. 😄

  17. Great to finally meet you after all these years… 🙂 And MSgt B said thanks!

  18. I finally got to meet you in person and OldNFO too. Nice to be able to say that. I’ll make sure I do so again the next tour here in Minneapolis. BTW I swiped your idea of ice carriers for my SF RPG, nothing like fighters swooping down on the bad guys from Mars (my players) to add a lil spice to the game. Be well Larry, LLAP

    Tony von Krag

  19. Had a great time meeting ya at Congregate in NC, the Daughter enjoyed showing off her Tanya Cosplay, and we hope ya liked the Team patched left with ya.

  20. Love it. Great write up. Loved the piece about Brandon Sanderson (one of my other favorite authors). So sad we’re going to be out of town when you’re in Omaha later this summer. Super jealous about the private tour of PP HQ. That would be AWESOME!

  21. It was great to get a chance to meet you at Uncle Hugo’s. Thanks for signing my Nook and my copies of ‘Dead Six.’

  22. Woah! A Team Los Alamos patch in the wild? That’s pretty damn slick considering I never got around to getting a run of ’em made myself. Where was that spotted/on whom?

  23. I bet that is exactly what Damien Walters’ book tour would have looked like in his mind if he had a big enough imagination to pretend it.

    Congratulations on the tour. I was in Minneapolis the day after you left, and thought of you. Great to see it done right.

  24. Dang I did realize you were in NC or just down the road from me or I would have made the trek to come see you, and taken you for a REALLY killer steak.

  25. Glad to hear you’re hitting NY (hopefully not too literally, the people are generally friendlier than advertised).

  26. This next picture is of me and author David West, and has to be included because he hadn’t gotten his badge yet but had just successfully impersonated me to bluff his way into FantasyCon. Bald with a goatee yes, but I’m guessing that wasn’t the most observant security guard ever.

    “We’ve managed to clone Larry Correia, at 2/3 size.”

  27. Larry,
    Thank you so much for being ConGregate’s first Guest of Honor! I am so glad you had a good time!

  28. As a fellow large person (6’4″, was 320, is now 235), here’s my tips for large person airplane flying.

    0) If someone else is booking your flights for you, just say “Hi, I’m 6’4″ and 300 pounds. Aisle Seat please”. Most of the time, they can pull it off. (And the one time I got dumped into first class totally makes up for the 2 times (of about 20) they couldn’t).
    1) If you’re doing Delta, Economy Comfort is your BUDDY. $99 for leg room is a completely valid expense.
    2) On the short hauls, at least *look* at taking the train (or renting a car and driving). 95% of the time, it’s broken and stupid and worthless. The other 5% of the time, (especially on the short hauls), not dealing with the TSA and not having to get to the airport WAY out in the burbs makes up the difference.

    /And of course I’m in Dublin when you’re a 2 hour, 40 mile drive from me (Mountain View. Yes, rush hour starts at 2:00 and goes until 8:30 (No joke. I was PARKED on the freeway at 2:30 yesterday), but you live cheap, dump half of your takehome into savings and then run screaming in 5 years letting you buy a house with cash in a functional state. And the weather’s nice. That’s how you put up with it). GAHHH. Don’t suppose you’ll be in Cleveland at Christmas?

  29. come to Canada. we have bacon. and there is the first annual comic-con in he yukon next month.

    and scenery that will a ctually make you feel small)ish)

  30. The moment I saw the picture of David West and Larry, my reaction was Larry has a “Mini-Me”.

    • It is after all very much in the tradition of Evil Overlords like the “International Lord of Hate”, to have a Mini-Me clone.

  31. Accuracy Police!

    The Laurell K. Hamilton signing was even worse. I know, I was there. But yours was very full.

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